Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Silly Toys R US...

I am sure not many people noticed, but the newest Nordstrom’s catalogue features a boy with Down syndrome. Not in a “special needs” kind of way, but in a look at how I rock this awesome leather jacket kind of way.  I love it. Target had a little girl with Down syndrome in their ad a while back and I couldn’t stop smiling for an entire day thinking about how adorable she was.

Whenever a little one with DS shows up as a model, you always hear about how Toys R US also uses kids with DS as models in their “Differently Abled” catalogue. This kind of pisses me off. Have you ever looked at this book? It’s all the same toys that you can find in the regular catalogue, but they throw in some long winded description trying to make Thomas the Train sound like the key to making Ella walk and add a few quotes from parents and well, there you have it, all the ingredients you need for a differently abled catalogue.  Look, I am all about finding tools and toys to help Ella, but seriously , don’t call your catalogue something special when you take the same toys I buy for my other kids and package it to “speak” to us parents with kids with special needs. If you are trying to be helpful, here’s a thought - Reed, my second born, is a handful, I would love a catalogue that addresses the needs of a second child and tells me which toys don’t hurt as bad when thrown at siblings. Or which toys are the easiest to remove from noses and ears. Don’t leave the pretty descriptions and parent quotes to the “special needs” book, don’t parents that read the normal catalogue want this stuff too? Am I only concerned about the learning aspects of toys for Ella and my other kids just get what is on sale? Why the separation Toys R US? I don’t like it… If you feature a toy in your regular catalogue that would be a great toy for a little one with developmental delays, just tell us right then and there.  Sure, there will be those parents with the perfect kids and perfect lives that don’t want to sadden their minds by thinking that somewhere out there are parents who look at toys as more than a bargaining tool to eat  all their dinner. To that I say “You don’t have a special catalogue just for their ugly kid, so why have a special catalogue just for my kid?”

Ok, well, I don’t really think that, but seriously, ever since I learned Toys R Us had a special catalogue for “differently abled” I haven’t shopped there.  Again, there are times that I think it is great to showcase tools and toys just for those with Special needs, but make it actual tools and toys that were developed  specifically for their needs, not the same toys re-advertised as Differently-abled because you put them in the hands of little ones with DS. AND while you are at it, use our adorable kids in your regular catalogue as models.  You would probably sell more Thomas the Train that way.

Just my two cents.  Ella doesn’t like Toys R Us anyways, she prefers online shopping  - or napping on the beach.